How Many Feral Cats Are There? — Spay/Neuter and TNR

No One Knows.  There are people out there who say they do, but they don’t really.

I went to a volunteer orientation at my local shelter, and read through their web page first.  So when the instructor said there were 20,000 feral cats in our county, I pointed out that their website said 40,000.  (Or maybe it was the other way around.)  I fear I have previously annoyed them with undiplomatic questions and I should have known better than to ask that one.

I posted before about some formulae for estimating an area’s population.  I could probably give you a more accurate guess if I drove around.  The I saw a post on FB quoting a number even higher than the max number I’d gotten, so I did a little research on just estimates, not formulae and thought I’d share some of the results.

“There are an estimated 70 million feral and stray cats in the United States” but they don’t say who estimated that or how.

“No one knows how many feral cats there are in the U.S., and estimates are wide ranging (credible estimates range from 13 million to 87 million).” I’m willing to believe it’s somewhere in that range. LOL. Image

Again, no clue where these estimates are from, what they’re based on and why they’re credible.

“Based on this data, a formula was developed to estimate free-roaming cat populations in communities: 0.5 cats/household using US census figures.” from That’s how I got the 57 million figure — They cite another study as the source of their 70 million estimat Dabritz HA, Conrad, PA. Cats and Toxoplasma: Implications for public health. Zoonoses Public Health. 2010;57:34-52, and I haven’t found a free version of that online yet.


This blog has been in my “Drafts” folder for months and I don’t remember what I was planning to add to it, so I’ll just post it.


About Capt'n Lisa

In transition
This entry was posted in Spay/Neuter, Statistics and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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